In Airbrush, Behind the scenes, Collaborators, Events, Fashion

I’ll admit, I was worried that I’d be overwhelmed and exhausted yesterday. I was up (at 6am) to get ready for a 5-person wedding, and then to the city to assist backstage at a Boston Fashion Week event (which wrapped up around midnight!) But when you’re enjoying yourself so much, and working with great people, you tend to forget how long you’ve been on your feet. It was a fabulous day, and the sheer fun of it energized me (and made me forget I’d stashed bottles of 5-Hour Energy in my bag).

The wedding went smoothly, with subtle smoky eyes for the bridesmaids and beautiful 40’s-inspired makeup for the bride (hopefully I’ll have photos to show soon!) Then I picked up friend and fellow artist Karrie Welch to get to Boston, and we managed to arrive quite early to set up.

Our charge: assist the two key artists, Julie and Christy, backstage for the presentation portion of The Emerging Trends – specifically, Karrie and I were responsible for all of the skin prep and airbrush foundation work.

The event was held at the gorgeous Park Plaza Castle, and the backstage area was huge and packed with busy stylists and models in various stages of preparation. We were representing David Paul Salons from Sudbury, MA (near my hometown!), a really talented and enthusiastic group of artists who produced some amazing sculptural work (one of the four presentations in particular was time and talent-intensive):

The looks were very diverse: the first, a delicate, natural look with a bright jeweltone lip to complement the work of jewelry designer Barbara Garwood and clothing by Vennie Caprice:

The second was a vibrant gold and fuchsia eye paired with a nude lip and the dramatic hair shown in progress above (the makeup here is still unfinished, but check out that cotton-candy hair!)

The third, dark smoky eyes at a modern angle with nude lips. And the fourth was intentionally paled-out skin with dramatic winged eyeliner and bright red lips.

There were ten models, and many of them appeared in two of the four presentations, which took place in between runway shows. There was ample time to prep everyone for their first presentations, but there was much less time to change up the hair and makeup for their second stage appearances. By far the most challenging portion of the evening was transitioning two of the models from look #2 to look #4. First, all of the pink and gold makeup had to be removed – so far so good. Then the faces had to be airbrushed to be unnaturally pale. Then, the eyeliner had to be drawn on along with the red lips.

The catch? All of this had to happen while the models’ dramatic, backcombed hair from look #2 was being brushed out, smoothed and arranged into buns on top of their heads!

Since the key artists were busy prepping models for look #3, Karrie and I had to execute the remaining two models for look #4. It was really challenging because the models were getting their hair pulled (sometimes painfully – no one said being a model was easy) and couldn’t hold their heads still – normally a requirement to do eye and lip liner! (Imagine trying to line your eyes while sitting in the back of a Jeep bouncing along on a rocky country road.) I steadied my hand (and her head) as best as I could and angled the liner so it wouldn’t poke her in the eye. I’m sure our resulting looks could have been more symmetrical and fully developed, but they passed muster with the lead artists just in time for the models’ return to stage. Here’s the model I made up:

At the end of the night, everyone was invited onto the stage for a round of applause, so I actually got to step out onto a runway. Definitely something I never envisioned happening when I was a shy tomboy back in high school. (Props to the models for managing to walk smoothly on stage; when I was facing front I couldn’t see a thing because of all the lights! At least I didn’t blunder off the edge or something.)

All in all, it was a fantastic day, and I owe it to Christy Lavallee (for bringing me on board) and Karrie (for being a fantastic fellow assistant) – we managed to get everything done and turned out some great faces in the process. Not bad for three gals who are new to runway! Here we are, left to right: yours truly, Karrie, and Christy:

I also shot a little video of our prep area during a bit of downtime between models (believe me, before I so much as touched my camera I checked around to see if there was anything useful I could do!) – check it out here.

Hard work, but so. much. fun!

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  • Christy Lavallee

    Great write-up Liz! Thank you for all your hard work last night. Both you and Karrie were amazing assistants – I couldn’t have asked for more!

  • Michele DeSantis Higgins

    Love it Liz! Job well done at the show!!

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